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+ Crataegomespilus



This name was devised to distinguish two deciduous trees, both of them chimaeras (graft hybrids) obtained by grafting the medlar (Mespilus germanica) on the hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). They are trees of particular interest as affording evidence that Adam’s story of the origin cf +Laburnocytisus adamii (q.v.) was not, as some people held, unbelievable. (Graft-hybrids have, as a matter of fact, been since obtained of set purpose, see Kew Bulletin 1911, p. 269.) The history of the two forms of Crataego-mespilus is as follows: On a specimen of medlar grafted on a stock of hawthorn growing in the garden of Mr Dardar, at Bronvaux, near Metz, there was noticed a branch pushing from just beneath the graft which showed characters intermediate between those of the medlar and hawthorn. The leaves and fruits, although smaller, were those of the medlar, but the branches were spiny and the flowers in clusters, as in hawthorn. Plants raised from this branch are now known in gardens, and described below as +C. dardarii.

Issuing from nearly the same place on Dardar’s tree was another branch quite unlike the first; the leaves on this were lobed as in the hawthorn and the flowers also resembled those of that tree, but the leaves, shoots, and calyx were covered with grey wool, showing thereby the character of the medlar. The branch was propagated by grafting, and the plants so raised are now known, and described below, as +C. dardarii ‘Jules d’Asnières’. The same tree produced a third branch which at its base was purely hawthorn, but towards the extremity changed into ‘Jules d’Asnières’. These branches were shown to E. Jouin of the Simon-Louis nursery, near Metz, about 1895, and he gave the first account of them in Le Jardin, Jan. 1899. The name Crataegomespilus dardarii was, however, first published in the Revue Horticole for 1899, p. 403, by Simon-Louis. In 1898 a grafted plant of +C. dardarii in the nursery of Messrs Simon-Louis of Plantières produced a branch of true medlar with the usual solitary flowers, whilst another branch was pure hawthorn. It will thus be seen that the behaviour of these graft-hybrids is very similar to that of +Laburnocytisus adamii.

The name Crataegomespilus has also been used for sexual hybrids between Crataegus and Mespilus. For these see × crataemespilus.

Species articles